More than 150 new Nazca lines discovered on ancient Peruvian plain
The recently discovered etchings depict stylized humans, camelids, birds, killer whales, felines and snakes.
Researchers from Japan and Peru have uncovered more mysterious designs in and around Peru’s Nazca plain that archaeologists hope will shed more light on the ancient artworks that have puzzled scientists for decades.
Peru’s iconic Nazca lines are massive drawings in the ground known as geoglyphs. Some of the designs are so large that they can only be seen from the air, and yet, humans 2,000 years ago were able to etch the enigmatic figures into the dirt. Some of the Nazca lines are still visible to the eye to this day and are a popular tourist destination in the country.
On Dec. 9, scientists from Yamagata University, in partnership with Jorge Olano, head archaeologist for the Nazca lines research program, announced that they found 168 new designs at the UNESCO World Heritage site on Peru’s southern Pacific coast.
The recently discovered etchings depict stylized humans, camelids (e.g. llamas and alpacas), birds, killer whales, felines and snakes, according to a press release from Yamagata University. The figures are believed to date back to between 100 BCE and 300 CE — a span of time that ranges from the rise of Julius Caesar to the arrival of Christianity in the Roman Empire under Constantine I.
“These geoglyphs were created by removing black stones from the surface of the earth to expose a white sandy surface below,” the press release reads.
The researchers used high-resolution aerial photography and drones to identify the new Nazca lines, which had never been seen before by modern eyes. The survey began on June 2019 and took nearly two years to complete.